Few bands epitomise the sacred link between the searing brutality and the atmospheric wonder of black metal than the Swedish act Ghamorean, a three piece band currently featuring founding member Andreas Batsman (who started the band when he was at the tender age of 14), Samuel Wistemar, who contributes guitars and bass, and David Ekevarn who devastates any drum kit unfortunate enough to be in his vicinity. To date the band have released three albums, their 2005 debut ‘plaguempire’, the 2008 follow-up ‘Eon Eschatos’ and the stunning, genre-destroying epic ‘terra Ruina’ which appeared in 2011 gaining a rave review from SonicAbuse, who described it as “technical enough to satisfy fans who like their music to offer more than just a primal roar of undiluted rage, yet brimming with passion”, in the process.
‘Terra Ruina’ marked a considerable development and refinement of Ghamorean’s sound. According to Andreas, the band at this time moved away from writing “cool riffs” towards blacker pastures, the result being an album that seethes and boils with undiluted anger and yet, more frequently than might be expected, backs off, the music subtle and haunting rather than confrontational, with the result that the album draws you in in a way that few bands are capable of. Influenced greatly by the Norwegian school of metal, it is no surprise that it is to Thorns, Emperor, Burzum, Dodheimsgard and Ulver that Andreas turned for inspiration. Even so, bravely naming some of the most inventive and revered artists in black metal history as influences means that you have to deliver, and in ‘Terra Ruina’ Andreas and his merry cohorts more than did so, the album a menacing, stately work that easily absorbs its influences and molds them into something new and unique to Ghamorean.
It’s a far cry away from the youthful, yet promising rumble of ‘Plaguempire’ which sits rather more on the deathly side, with the riffs very much at the forefront of the band’s crushing sound. Still, as a debut album, ‘plaguempire’ remains a promising glimpse of what was to come with the production and musicianship first class throughout. Highlights include the devastating opening track ‘wretch’ with its multiple riffs stampeding out of the speakers in a blood-drunk fury, and it’s doom-laden flip-side, the savage ‘existence without God’ which sounds like a cross between My Dying Bride, Emperor and Slayer – a mind-numbing combination which would be the pinnacle of most bands’ achievements. Indeed ‘plaguempire’ is a fine album by any standards, and it would have provided a decent template for Ghamorean to work from if only their ambition hadn’t already been pushing the band onto deeper, darker and more exciting pastures.
Proof, if any were needed, that Ghamorean were far from approaching their full potential came three years later when the band unleashed ‘Eon Eschatos’ an album that highlighted the band’s wildly creative streak and which offered more than simple devastation. Where the first album spat, swore and swaggered with a power that was as exciting as it was intimidating, ‘Eon Eschatos’ was a much more subtle affair, the elegant grandeur of Emperor creeping far more clearly into the mix as orchestral elements make their way into the band’s sound, most notably on the brilliant ‘art of defiance’ which mixes up martial elements with full-throated metal of the most vicious kind. It’s still an adrenalin-charging monster of a record, but you can hear the band stepping up their game on tracks like ‘humanity dethroned’ and ‘obey you shall’, the latter having more than a touch of Emperor and Behemoth about it.
Which brings us back to the genre-defying ‘Terra Ruina’, the apex of the band’s creative work up until now, which brings us to the reason for this career-spanning glimpse into Ghamorean’s past. For the beast slumbers no more and Andreas and his crew have returned with a brand new two-track single on discouraged records in order to celebrate fifteen years of crafting their devastating brand of death metal. Entitled ‘with Hades entwined’ it is classic Ghamorean, delivered with a ferocity that once again reminds the listener just how good a band Ghamorean are. Here you will find the blackened fury of ‘Terra Ruina’ combined with the bold, gleaming riffs of ‘Eon Eschatos’ and it is as if the band have channeled the very best elements of their work to date into this one, eight-minute slab of malevolence. Searing, and yet adventurous, the band’s desire to forever push boundaries comes in the second track, ‘To Daimonion’, a Mayhem cover that is delivered with the speed and spite of Amebix jamming with Dimmu Borgir and Jello Biafra. It’s a stunning, beautiful and wholly brilliant track that Ghamorean have appropriated with a verve that is breathtaking.
Listen to With Hades entwined via our exclusive stream:
Andreas Båtsman – Guitars and vocals
Samuel Wistemar – Guitars and bass
David Ekevärn – Drums
TERRA RUINA CD (MMI12)
Released 2011/01/28, Discouraged Records
Songs: 1. Towards Pandemonium, 2. Underneath Grey Heavens, 3. Flagrum, 4. In Man, A Plague, 5. Calvary & Martyrdom, 6. Worship My Icon, 7. Iblis, 8. Universal Miscreant
total running time 48:44 min
EON ESCHATOS CD
Released 2008/12/12, (Ge Hinnom Music)
Songs: 1. Insurgency, 2. Art Of Defiance, 3. Burn Me Like The Kings, 4. Humanity Dethroned, 5. Faustian Winter, 6. Obedience, 7. Obey You Shall, 8. The Imperial Eye, 9. Order Without Man
Total playing time: 40:55
Released 2005, (Karmageddon Media)
Songs: 1. Wretch, 2. Existence Without God, 3. Project Sulphur Hate, 4. Shackled, 5. Parasite, 6. Sirens for the Weak, 7. Enigma of Human Deceit
Total playing time 33:18
Songs: 1. Decayed By Deceit, 2. Project Sulphur Hate, 3. Shackled, 4. Oh Humans
Songs: 1. Faceless, 2. The Ruin Of The Orthodox Foundations, 3. Octopus Perversion XIII
Songs: 1. Ghamorean, 2. Leaving This World
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